Leica has officially revealed the M9 - a full frame version of its M-mount rangefinder. The Leica M9, with its 24 x 36mm, 18 megapixel sensor is, according to the company: 'the world's smallest full-frame system camera.' The body is available in a new 'Steel Gray' finish and offers minor button re-arrangement over the M8 - all the major changes relate to the internals. The Kodak-developed CCD sensor features improved offset microlenses to optimize performance at the edges of the frame along with a sensor cover with improved filtering of infrared light so lens-mounted IR filters are no longer needed. Most importantly, the 35mm film-sized sensor means every Leica M-mount lens provides the originally intended field of view.
Click here for our detailed hands-on preview of the Leica M9
(including full detailed specifications)
9/10/2009 - Preview updated with tests of the M9 sensor's infrared response compared to the M8.
LEICA M9: Get the Full Picture
Leica Camera AG today announces the world’s first digital rangefinder camera with a full-frame 24 x 36mm sensor. As the world’s smallest full-frame system camera, the LEICA M9 continues the long heritage of the Leica rangefinder system, and unites more than 50 years of continuous technical improvements to the M System with cutting-edge digital technology.
The successful combination of a high-resolution image sensor, the superior performance of Leica M lenses and sophisticated processing ensures the best imaging results, making the camera perfect for all fields of photography from reportage and ‘available light’ to the capture of discreet, spontaneous images.
The 18 megapixel image sensor, specifically designed and developed for the M9, enables capture of the full 35-mm film format without any compromise. All M lenses mounted on the LEICA M9 therefore offer the same focal length as originally intended, and the enormous potential performance of the current M lens portfolio, with focal lengths from 16 to 135mm, is now fully exploited in an M digital camera for the very first time.
Furthermore, the M9 sensor features a newly developed glass sensor cover designed to guarantee the suppression of the infrared portion of the light spectrum, avoiding the need to mount special UV/IR filters.
Leica has listened to photographers’ requests for quick access to essential features on the M9. One example is the new ISO adjustment button, which simply requires the user to hold down the ISO button whilst turning the dial to select the required setting – rather than having to access it via a menu. In addition, all other functions important for everyday photography are accessible by pressing the set button.
At just 139 × 37 × 80mm, the LEICA M9 maintains the compact size of the LEICA M8, despite the considerably larger sensor. The robust, one-piece, full metal housing, made from a high-strength magnesium alloy, combined with a solid brass top and bottom plate, provide perfect protection for the camera in all photographic situations. For photographers, this all adds up to absolute reliability over decades of use.
The LEICA M9 is available in two different styles: a standard black with ‘vulkanit’ finish, and for the first time, a version in steel-grey with classic leatherette finish.
The CCD, specially developed by Kodak for the LEICA M9, has been optimised to exploit the particular qualities of the Leica M lens system. As a result, the LEICA M9 achieves the highest resolution values, which in turn guarantee outstanding image quality.
The M9 sensor employs further advanced and meticulously-designed micro lenses with a low refractive index. The micro lenses at the sensor edges are laterally displaced towards the image centre to match the characteristics of M lenses precisely. This optimised micro lens design captures and concentrates even the most oblique rays on the sensor, and reliably prevents image brightness fall-off at the edges and corners of the image. As a result, all existing Leica M lenses maintain their full performance when used for digital photography.
A moiré filter has not been integrated, allowing full exploitation of the superb resolution of Leica M lenses. Any moiré patterns occurring are eliminated in the camera’s signal processing software. The optimised signal–noise ratio reduces the need for digital post-processing, and results in high-contrast, high-resolution exposures with natural colour rendition from corner to corner.
Performance criteria, such as the individual coating of each element, have long been a Leica standard. For the first time, the immense performance potential of the M lenses is fully maintained and can be exploited for digital photography. In line with Leica’s commitment to system compatibility, almost all Leica M lenses built since 1954 can still be used on the new M9, as a result of their mechanical and optical precision.
The M9 sensor demands a particularly high spatial resolution, as offered by the latest M lenses. Their high resolution and efficient correction of optical aberrations make them all the more suitable for digital use. Current M lenses are supplied with a 6-bit code on the bayonet mount that is scanned optically by the M9. Using this coding, the M9 can compensate for any vignetting effects, if required. In addition, the lens type is recorded in the EXIF data and, when using the latest flash units such as the LEICA SF 58, automatically adjusts the reflector to match the focal length of the lens attached.
The viewfinder / rangefinder system
The Leica viewfinder / rangefinder system sets the LEICA M9 apart from SLR and compact digital cameras and makes it particularly suitable for reportage, ‘available light’ and discreet portraiture. Photographers become part of the action and frame their subject in the viewfinder, while still being able to see the full scene outside the viewfinder frame. The decisive moment can be anticipated and captured at precisely the right instant, resulting in particularly authentic images.
The clear view of the subject remains during the full exposure and, even in the most adverse lighting conditions, the bright, high-contrast viewfinder guarantees extremely fast and precise focusing. The minimal delay between shutter release and capturing the shot, together with the viewfinder / rangefinder system, positions Leica M cameras amongst the fastest in the world.
The LEICA M9 features a new, microprocessor-controlled, particularly silent, metal-leaf, focal-plane shutter that enables shutter speeds of up to 1/4000 seconds. This means that the photographer still has complete creative freedom by using selective focus at maximum apertures, even in bright situations. The short flash synchronisation speed of 1/180 seconds enables daylight flash exposures with selective focus.
Together with its compact form, the camera’s almost silent shutter is another enormous advantage for discreet and unobtrusive photography. Photographers can also select the appropriate moment for re-cocking the shutter. When longer exposure times requiring an extremely steady camera stance are essential, a slight pressure on the shutter release button in ‘soft release’ mode is sufficient.
The M9 offers a simple, clearly laid-out and intuitive menu system that concentrates purely on the essentials; eliminating any multifunction buttons or complex menu hierarchies. The key control is an intuitive four-way switch and dial combination that enables fast menu navigation. Pressing the set button calls up the capture menu on the 2.5" monitor, and the most commonly-used functions are quickly and easily set in the menu: sensor sensitivity, exposure correction, white balance, image-data compression and resolution. Furthermore, favourite profiles can be named and saved for quick and easy access.
Sensitivity ranges from ISO 80 for wide-open apertures on bright days to ISO 2500. Very low-noise and finely detailed images are achieved throughout the sensitivity range, even at the highest settings, while the low noise characteristics, low-vibration shutter and fast lenses make the M9 the perfect camera for ‘available light’ photography.
Innovative flash technology
The LEICA M9’s M-TTL flash technology enables both precise and creative control over flash and mixed lighting effects. Prior to the actual exposure, a measuring flash is emitted that is metered through the lens. The flash power is then precisely determined according to the natural lighting situation. Due to the precise and delicate level of flash illumination, the natural lighting mood is maintained. In combination with aperture priority exposure mode, the auto-slow sync function ensures a particularly subtle lighting of the subject.
Tonal value histogram
The LEICA M9 offers an RGB tonal value histogram, which can be displayed at any time for image assessment, and is available in conjunction with automatic image review. A clipping warning indicating any overexposure of the image is also included. These two quality control tools are updated during zooming, allowing the quality of even the finest image details to be assessed.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, a professional digital workflow solution for Apple Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows, is available as an online download for all LEICA M9 customers. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom offers a vast range of functions for the management, processing and presentation of digital images, whether in JPEG or DNG format. If the images are saved as raw data in Adobe Digital Negative Format (DNG), Adobe Photoshop Lightroom guarantees direct and high-quality image processing with maximum image quality. The 14-bit-per-channel colour information captured by the image sensor is maintained throughout the processing workflow until the final presentation, and ensures that the most delicate tonal differences are preserved.
Build quality and materials
Experienced Leica technicians in Germany are responsible for the assembly and calibration of the M9 camera bodies, as well as the precise testing of all mechanical and electrical components. In addition to the solid brass top and base plate and magnesium alloy body, several other structural features of the camera will ensure a long and reliable working life. The rechargeable battery and SD card slot are protected from dust and moisture under the base plate, while the locking mechanism prevents unintentional opening and the possible loss of the battery and SD card, even under the hardest reportage conditions.
The LEICA M9 offers a special function for manual sensor cleaning: selecting the appropriate item from the menu and pressing the shutter release locks the shutter open to allow access to the sensor for cleaning purposes. Thanks to the short register of Leica M cameras, the sensor is easier to access than in a DSLR camera, where the sensor is located behind the mirror box and shutter assembly.
Pricing and availability
The LEICA M9 will be available in the UK from 9 September 2009 at a suggested retail price of £4,850 inc VAT. For further details and a list of authorised dealers including the new Leica Store Mayfair, please visit www.leica-camera.co.uk.
Click here for our detailed hands-on preview of the Leica M9
(including full detailed specifications)
Dec 6, 2011
Oct 9, 2011
Oct 11, 2011
Sep 6, 2012
|Smile by Olymguy|
from Ultra Asian Indian Female Faces
|Space Shuttle Cockpit- by vbuhay|
from Aircraft Control Stick
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.
It will enable users to simulate the presence of the sun, moon and Milky Way and see how they interact with an area's topography.
Since its introduction in November last year Instagram's live streaming feature has been used by millions, but videos could not be archived for watching at a later stage. A new update has now added the capability.
CopyTrack's study also found that the second most-stolen image is a woman wearing painted jeans. That's apparently a thing.
Forget expensive lenses with fancy coatings and special lens elements – photographer Robin de Puy took these portraits using just a water drop for a lens.
Adobe reports a record quarterly revenue of $1.77 billion for the second quarter fiscal year 2017 ended June 2, 2017.
Zeiss says its new lens is particularly suited for portrait photography but also a good all-rounder and can be used in video applications.
We present to you the top photos from the Kennel Club's 2017 Dog Photographer of the Year photo contest – take a look at 10 of the award-winning puppers.
In case you were looking for any more inspiration to go fly one.